Prove majority by July 7, Azad told

30 June 2008
The Hindu

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra on Monday asked Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to prove his majority on the floor of the House by July 7. According to a Raj Bhavan spokesman, the Governor conveyed this in a letter addressed to the Chief Minister. Mr. Azad is away, and in his absence, Union Minister and PCC chief Saifuddin Soz held day-long consultations with Congress Ministers and Transport Minister Hakim Mohammad Yasin, who heads the People’s Democratic Front (PDF). Sources said the situation, which arose as a result of withdrawal of support by the PDP on the issue of land transfer to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), was discussed. National Conference president Omar Abdullah, whose party has the largest number of members in the House, also met Mr. Vohra on his invitation. Mr. Abdullah, who was accompanied by Abdul Rahim Rather, Leader of the Opposition, informed the Governor that the National Conference had no intention of supporting Mr. Azad’s Congress-led government. Even as pressure is building on the government to cancel the order transferring land to SASB, no solution is in sight. Amid rumours that the government has cancelled the order, senior Congress leader and Health Minister Mangat Ram Sharma told reporters that since Mr. Azad could not return from Mumbai on Monday, the Cabinet would meet on Tuesday to discuss the situation. “It is a matter of concern for us that the situation is bad in Kashmir as well as in Jammu. But we are a secular party and we want a solution which is acceptable to all the regions,” he said without elaborating. The Action Committee Against Land Transfer has reiterated its call for “Srinagar Chalo” from all the parts of the Valley. Committee chairman Mian Abdul Qayoom dismissed Mr. Azad’s announcement that the crisis was over after the Governor offered to withdraw the claim over land and said, “it is mere eyewash.”